Feb. 8 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
Maythorne Henderson

Maythorne “Macey” Henderson

Black Mountain

Maythorne “Macey” Henderson, 89, of Black Mountain passed away Saturday, January 27, 2018.

  Mrs. Henderson was born May 20, 1928 in Madison County to the late Robert and Roxeanne Frisbee.  She was of the Methodist faith, attending Sandy Mush United Methodist Church.  Macey loved spending time with her daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She worked many years at Belk and Dillards in sales. 

  In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Jack Henderson; son, Geary Henderson, and numerous brothers and sisters.

  Macey is survived by her daughters, Sue Ann Garrison and Patricia Griffin; grandchildren, Robin, Denise, Jack, Heather, John, and Chad; and great-grandchildren, Tyler, Cameron, MacKenzie, Jacquelyn, Emma, Trevor, and Dani.

  A graveside service will be held Friday, February 2, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Candler.  Flowers are accepted and appreciated.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Frank O’Donnell


  Fr. Frank O’Donnell, 77, of Swannanoa, passed away Sunday, January 28, 2018. He was a true servant of God and he died doing what he loved.

  Frank is preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Edith O’Donnell; and the mother of his children, Carla O’Donnell. Frank is survived by his wife, Beverly O’Donnell; daughter, Shawn O’Donnell; son, Matthew O’Donnell (Janice); and three grandchildren.

  A memorial service will be held at a later date.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals.

John Thomas Newton, Jr.

Black Mountain

  The Reverend Dr. John Thomas Newton, Jr., 88, of Black Mountain, NC, celebrated his first day in Heaven on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, January 28, 2018. John was born June 13, 1929, in Cedartown, GA, to the late John Thomas Newton, Sr. and Virginia Sparks Newton. 

  John received his Electrical Engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”) in Atlanta, GA.  He then attended Columbia Seminary in Decatur, GA, earning his Bachelor of Divinity and his Master of Theology degrees and later graduated from Emory University earning his PhD.  John was a veteran of the United States Navy serving in the Korean War. During his three years of service, he also volunteered to serve as the chaplain of the ship when one was unavailable.

  He taught at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS, and at Montreat College for 30 years where he served as the chair of the Bible Department until he retired.  As a Presbyterian minister, he supplied many churches in the Asheville area. He actively attended Christ Community Church in Montreat where he led a Sunday night Bible study for many years.

   John served on the Board of Adjustments for the Town of Black Mountain and as a building inspector for the Town of Montreat. In addition to teaching, John enjoyed sailing with his family, playing classical piano, and communicating with missionaries through his ham radio ministry.   In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Jimmie Frances Bennett.

  John is survived by his wife, Jean DeMatteo Newton; daughters, Kathryn Byers and husband, Frank of Huntersville, NC, and Karen Newton-Fogo of Chattanooga, TN; grandchildren, Lydia Grace Fogo, Jonathan Newton Fogo and Gracie Ann Fogo.

  A Celebration of Life Service was held Sunday, February 4, 2018, at 3:00 pm at Christ Community Church with Rev. Richard White officiating.  A reception followed the service.  A private burial was held at Piney Grove Cemetery with military honors.  In lieu of flowers, those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider the Keystone Scholarship Fund, Montreat College, Advancement Office, PO Box 1267, Montreat, NC 28757 or Christ Community Church, Deacons Fund, PO Box 279, Montreat, NC 28757.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals.

Joan Leslie

Joan (Joni) Doris Leslie

Black Mountain

Joan (Joni) Doris Leslie of Black Mountain, NC passed away peacefully on January 25, 2018 after a short illness.

She was born in Boston on March 17, 1958 to Patricia C. and Henry F. Iseman, both deceased. She leaves behind her loving daughter Megan Leslie Rich who was also her best friend. Joni was predeceased in 2017 by her husband of 30 years, Robert Leslie. She leaves her brother Bill Iseman and companion Ann O’Hara of Millis, MA and Sister Maryanne Hodgkins of Fall River, MA. Joni will be greatly remembered for her humor, compassion and willingness to help anyone. She loved her second family at Ingles and leaves many, many saddened friends along the East coast. Joni had a love of animals, and was a Patriots fan.

Calvin Chrisman

Calvin Locke Chrisman

Black Mountain

Calvin Locke Chrisman, 71, died peacefully at his beloved Dill Knob home high in the North Carolina mountains on Wednesday, January 31. From Wall Street to community service to running, Cal found success on many levels; however, his greatest joy and delight was his family: Elisabeth Alexander Robinson “Lisbet,” his loving wife of 47 years; his children and their spouses Alexander Locke “Alex” Chrisman (Jill Garraway) and Mary Chrisman “May” Nixon (Frederick Houghton); and grandchildren to whom Cal will always be “GoDaddy,” Aiden Locke and Mia Elisabeth Chrisman and Calvin McLean “Mac”  Nixon. He is also survived by family pets Timber, Bonnie and Ranger.

                Cal was born in Charlotte on May 7, 1947. He attended Duke University on a Naval ROTC scholarship, earning a degree in accounting and serving as president of Sigma Chi fraternity.  Following graduation from Duke in 1969, Cal served in the Navy in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and Washington, D.C. Years later Cal would comment that his laptop had more storage than a room full of computers in the Philippines.

                Cal then earned an MBA in finance from Harvard University and went to work for Kidder, Peabody, where he became a managing director. He and Lisbet settled in Bronxville, N.Y., with their growing family and made cherished lifelong friends. Cal was very involved with Alex’s Boy Scout troop, going on countless trips, including the three-week Philmont trek. He coached May’s softball team, as well as other sports teams for the children. Mets’ games, including the 1986 World Series, became a family activity, as well as ski trips out West and vacations to Pawleys Island. Cal was an avid runner, twice completing the New York marathon with Lisbet, Alex and May cheering him on!

                In the spring of 1988, Cal was diagnosed with Hodgkins’ lymphoma. Following surgery and radiation, he returned to life with renewed vigor. He served as president of  the Bronxville School Board and had the privilege of handing his children their high school diplomas. Cal furthered a lifelong interest in astronomy, occasionally waking Lisbet at 3 a.m. to get in the car and go see a special constellation. Turning on the lights on these occasions was discouraged, as Cal wanted to preserve their “night vision.”

                In 1995, Cal joined Brenner Securities as a managing director and became head of Brenner’s investment banking department in 1998. Later business ventures included Nextbridge Capital Markets, AirTV Limited and consulting work.

Cal’s greatest negotiation, however, may have been the purchase of land atop Dill Knob near Black Mountain, N.C., where his family always summered. It was at Dill that Cal got to combine his interest in science, installing a geothermal heating/cooling unit, as well as his love of astronomy, setting up the Dill Knob Observatory. Cal and Lisbet opened their home to local stargazers, especially when the planets and stars were putting on a show.

While living in Bronxville, Cal served on the session of the Reformed Church of Bronxville. Following a move to Black Mountain in 2008, he and Lisbet joined Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder. Cal always had a heart for the downtrodden, working on numerous Habitat for Humanity houses, including one in Guatemala. He loved to read, primarily science, history and biographies: the thicker the book the better.

Cal was predeceased by his parents, Alice and Aubrey. He is survived by two brothers and their spouses: Jack (Donna) and Mason (Jane) and their children.

A celebration of life was Saturday, February 3, at 11 a.m. at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. Interment will be at Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte at a later date. Donations may be made to Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, 117 Montreat Road, Black Mountain, N.C., 28711. Penland Family Funeral Home's online memorial register is at